I died today, after 86 years of joyous living. I laid aside a tired body in a temporary parting. Like all of my other travels, I gave little notice, but went with enthusiasm for the adventure. I went knowing that early in the journey, I will be joined by my beautiful mother, Florence Perkins and a noble father, Golden J. Barton; who brought me into earthly existence April 7, 1928 and nurtured me to manhood in their Farmington, Utah home. Two older brothers whom I greatly respected, Don W. and Wilson G., will assist in the welcome committee of the family order. A sister Deanna (Fru-danya) Flint and brother Walter E. have been left behind awaiting their turn.
I was almost turned back by the angel sentinel at the processing center, because of excess baggage. On my earthly trips I usually returned home with excess luggage, but this time, I left with some.
I took with me the love and devotion of my loyal, darling, Norene; my companion and eternal sweetheart, who organized and packed 54 years of love, kindness, joy, and happiness into every corner of my heart. Like always, the little XOXOXO notes signed by `secrets', fell out of various pockets and places. I blushed as the angel smilingly read the notes, but they all passed and I was able to keep every one.
The angel nodded with re-assurance as he checked the volumes of memory supplied from years of association with the six vital links of my own patriarchal chain. Beautiful Teresa Norene, handsome Dr. Jason Golden and lovely wife Kathy. Darling Nannette, energetic Jay Golden, gorgeous & bubbly, Candice Florence and her handsome, bright husband Jeffery Reynolds. Jared Golden Barton, who taught me the enormity of trust and his adorable Jenny.
Together with the 24 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren who affectionately call me ‘Papa J’. I will be gone from your sight, but will watch over you each day. I promise I will sleep at night with only one eye closed.
I have loved each one of you so very dearly and take leave fully trusting. If I go with any pride, it is that which I share for each of your educational accomplishments, your missionary service, and knowing that each of you have brought to your marriage the covenants of the temple.
I was permitted to take with me the memory of my first wife Dorothy Jean and the five stalwart sons that graced our union. Only the kindest and most tender concerns remain for Dr. James Benson, Jerry Bennett, John Golden, Dr. Jeffrey Charles, and Joseph William. Together, with their beautiful spouses and loving children, each of whom known and unknown, have added and will continue to add to my eternal joy and happiness. My family is my earthly accomplishment, all else dims in perspective.
In addition to love of family, I loved my country and my Church. It was an honor to serve my flag and country in World II and one of my great desires is to share with fallen comrades the joy of life which they forfeited, as they sacrificed all for the liberty I have known.
As a young man, I was educated at Davis High School, Stanford University, and the University of Utah. My formal education was only the beginning, as I have spent a lifetime in pursuit of hidden treasures of knowledge. I have authored many private papers, books, and magazine articles. I value only my family above the books of my library.
I provided for the needs of my family as an active businessman, having owned an auto dealership, a real estate company, a cattle ranch, a dairy herd, a construction company, a chain of Video stores, and a diamond mine in Africa. Some of my happiest hours were spent serving the needs of Utah families, for whom I have designed and built over 1000 residences. Great joy comes in standing aside, as the family you have served, turns the key to their dream home.
Checking in at the gates, I should have known that I would be discovered. I tried to sneak a suitcase full of sporting goods past the sentinel. He sent back the football, basketball, soccer ball, baseball, and running shoes that I had packed in one suitcase. If only I could have persuaded him to reconsider, I would have called a youth practice and once again coached the little-league teams that were so dear to my heart.
I enjoyed them all, but football was my favorite. A rough and tumble sport where the coach plays a game of chess with the opposition. How I loved their youthful spirits and the challenge of the play. I tried to be fair and impartial, as I sought to give each boy an experience, equal to his heart, for the game as member of our team.
The letters from considerate parents and the memories of winning and losing, I was allowed to retain, but the implements of the various games I have coached were all sent back. Somehow I know that there will be found a way to gather the boys together at the sound of the whistle and look into their enthusiastic faces. Teaching them the love of sport and the honor of losing, as they discover the joy of play, with one eye and my heart always directed on the backward and bashful who await the call of the coach.
I have always been an active priesthood member of the LDS Church. My 1948-1950 missionary service in South Africa, under the direction of the sweetest man I have ever known, Pres. June B. Sharp and his special wife Ida, provided me with spiritual nourishment and opened the door of my testimony. I have served as a member of the Swaziland District Presidency, as a High Councilman, Stake Seventies President, Stake and Ward YMIA President, Ward Sunday School Superintendent and many years as a Gospel Doctrine teacher. Some of my happiest hours were spent as a Priest Quorum advisor in preparing young men for missionary service.
My twilight years provided an additional missionary opportunity as an ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple, where I shared spiritual highs with the wonderful men and women who serve the departed spirits, whom I now join in the spirit world. I have since served my Church as a missionary three times, and served as an Executive-Secretary to the North American Southwest Area Presidency.
I will be ever grateful for the opportunity to have served with my sweet companion Norene, in the South African Johannesburg mission, where we met and loved the hundreds of Saints in Swaziland. Perhaps one of our sweetest hours, was the opportunity to wash the black feet of the thirty nine Swazi members, who we had helped prepare for endowment and sealing, in the Johannesburg Temple. These beautiful people remain eternal friends forever. Perhaps Absalom will once again greet me with “Elder Barton, I prayed you here!”
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 7th at 11:00a.m. at the LDS Quail Crossing Chapel located at 2230 South 350 East, Kaysville Utah. Friends and family may pay their respects Friday, March 6th between 5:30 and 7:30p.m.at Russon Brothers Mortuary at 1941 North Main, Farmington Utah or Saturday, March 7th from 9:45-10:45a.m. at the church.